Google on Wednesday announced that it acquired Jibe Mobile, a company that has worked with carriers on implementing RCS, or Rich Communications Services.
RCS builds upon legacy SMS messaging and adds new capabilities that are better supported by today's data-centric networks and phones.
Jibe was founded in 2006 and started work on RCS in 2010 seeing it would be "the new standard that was being positioned as the evolution of SMS." RCS officially launched in 2012 as a program backed by the GSM Association and originally was dubbed "joyn."
Some carriers later introduced RCS under their own brand name; most recently was T-Mobile with its Advanced Messaging features. Among some of the RCS features implemented -- at least by T-Mobile on initial handsets -- include richer one-on-one and group messaging with real-time chat, the ability to see when others are typing (similar to how Apple's FaceTime works) and the ability to share large high-resolution images quickly and easily.
Other standard RCS features enable screen sharing between devices, location sharing, and the ability to show contact presence.
With the purchase, Google says it plans to "create an even better messaging experience on Android," something it has repeatedly tried to do through standard message apps, Google Voice and Google Hangouts.